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Thread: FYI: Jammed-up Singer 404 was rust + lint in bobbin case

  1. #1
    Junior Member MadCow333's Avatar
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    FYI: Jammed-up Singer 404 was rust + lint in bobbin case

    Singer 404 -- The workhorse straight-stitcher so tough that even junior high school home ec students can't kill one, right? That's what I thought when I bought it. But I could not get that machine to free up the least little bit. 6 months later, she moves. What was it? Copious quantity of lint left in the bobbin case (lint, not thread) had absorbed moisture and rusted the parts together. And the hook was seized in the wrong position so that I could not remove the bobbin case. Could not turn the hand wheel, could not make the bobbin case even rattle in there. Nothing would move. I doused the entire machine with sewing machine oil and then Liquid Wrench, but gave up when it still would not move 3 weeks later. I forgot about it until last weekend, and was pleased to find that after about 6 months the seized parts finally let go. I will have to lightly steel-wool a few areas. I scraped a boatload of oily lint out of there

    There is a warning in the Singer 404 manual to clean out the lint so as not to get rust in there, lol. Other Slants might have the same issue.

    I found that 404 in a used furniture store. Nice looking 404 in a nice cabinet, with attachments and a slant buttonholer with it. The motor was good, the cabinet was decent, but that machine as jammed up so tight that nothing would move at all.

    The store owner made me an offer I could not refuse: $5 for the entire package. Such a deal!

    So, if you run across a really siezed-up 404 and the motor still runs, now you know what to do: Act disinterested, furrow your brow, offer $5 ,"because it might have a broken gear or something." LOL

  2. #2
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    It is nice when you can win one. Yes high school girls can destroy sewing machines. I bought out a school's machines one time - I think I had a good dozen of those Singer 404 machines - none of them worked. I got all but 2 two to work - those two donated all kinds of little parts for the others. I suppose if I bought parts the other two would work - then again I don't know I let Wilbur at one of them with a screw driver once. Anyway here is a link for one of the last: 40 plus year old unsolved crime
    Once they sew they are nice little machines - great for learning to sew - not very heavy either.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  3. #3
    Junior Member MadCow333's Avatar
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    Good story. :-D

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    Super Member topper1's Avatar
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    got me singer 185k,1957 m0del......................got it home woulnt run. got twenty yrs lint out of it and oil,oil,oil.....took off not bad for 14.99 and included cabinet and original manuals,wonderful straight stitch
    Families are like quilts, lives pieced together, stitched with smiles & tears,colored with memories and bound by LOVE.....................
    rb

  5. #5
    Junior Member MadCow333's Avatar
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    Hey, just wanted to say that 404 is a runnin' sonuvagun now, ha! Smooth and also an unusually quiet motor. Probably that machine never got much use. I scrubbed the dirt off it last night while watching Mad Men.

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